Driving with your dog in the car can be dangerous and the law is quite strict and severe about such mindless behavior. Of course, we know our dogs and we do not want to crash either, but it is our responsibility to take an extra 45 seconds to secure your dog’s car seatbelt.
Some car drivers prefer to buy a full-on dog booster car seat but for many who only drive their dogs for short journeys, it’s an overkill. Instead, using a restraint (called dog car seatbelt) you can quickly and safely keep your dog restrained while you drive to your local destination. The problem is, how to find the best dog car seatbelt? You want one that is long enough for your dog to move comfortably, but not long enough to allow your dog to jump at the front…
Enjoy our short guide; reviews start towards the middle!
What Are Dog Car Seat Belts?
If you’ve ever traveled with a dog in your car, by now you will probably (hopefully) realize the value of having a way to secure him. Sudden braking may cause your dog to go careering through the windscreen or hit you or your passenger(s) at top speed, both of which can be lethal. Unfortunately, there are still many drivers who allow their dog(s) to roam free in their moving vehicle – some dogs even sit on the driver’s lap. If you are guilty of this and want to take an active role in protecting yourself, your dog and others around you whilst on the move, then a dog car seat belt is just what you need!
Dog car seat belts are very short leashes designed to stop dogs from moving around your vehicle. One end attaches to the dog’s collar or harness and the other to the car. A dog car seat belt should leave your dog safe and secure so that all you must concentrate on is the road ahead. It may save lives! The dog car seat belt market is broad enough that you can pick from a variety of colors, sizes, and attachments – who knew?!
The Law on Dog Seat Belts
It is completely legal to drive with your canine onboard. However, in most countries and states it is illegal to do the following as a driver:
- Allow your dog to move unrestrained around your vehicle
- Allow your dog to sit on your lap whilst driving
- Allow your dog to move around the car in ways that may prove distracting to you or other drivers
- Allow your dog to travel in a vehicle in any way that may cause injury to themselves, you or any other person
Some laws also specify that a dog must travel on the back seat or in the boot of a car – never in the front seat(s) where they can be distracting. Drivers who fail to comply with the law in this instance may lose their driver’s license, invalidate their insurance and/or end up being prosecuted. Any accident that causes damage to your vehicle or another vehicle consequence of an unrestrained dog will also be costly. All dogs must be restrained from moving too much in a way that may endanger the driver, passenger and/or other vehicles. This is where dog car seat belts come in; a simple yet effective fix!
Dog Car Seat Belt vs. Dog Car Harness
In addition to dog car seat belts, you may also opt for a harness restraint for your dog instead. Some dog owners simply attach their dog’s collar to a dog seat belt and then to the car seat belt buckle, but this can prove extremely perilous. This practice prevents your dog from climbing or being hurled towards the front of the car but does not necessarily protect them from injury. It may even cause injury as in the event of an accident all the force will be located at your dog’s neck, causing potential strangulation. Although you have a legal obligation to secure your dog whilst driving, you also have a moral obligation to your dog to do so in a way that will not put them at further risk.
Securing a dog seat belt to a dog harness is a more responsible option for your dog. You may also want to use a harness that attaches straight to the car seat belt buckle. Generally, car harnesses are fastened around a dog’s chest with a fabric vest or straps. This option not only keeps your dog still but also ensures the force of sudden braking or a crash is located across the entire body, rather than just the neck. This is very similar to the human seatbelts, where the force is located across the chest and lap.
Important Features in Dog Car Seat Belts
Dog car seat belts have various manufacturers boasting features that claim to make their restraint better than the rest. Nevertheless, there are certain features that are considered more important than others when deciding which seat belt to buy. These are features that will affect the safety, security, and comfort of your dog whilst he is restrained.
The hook and attachment systems are particularly important because the restraint must be properly locked to both the dog and car. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and a restraint must have the suitable breaking strength for the weight of the dog. Its hook and attachment system should be robust and not prone to bending or breaking. Otherwise, in the event of an accident or during sudden braking, the attachment will buckle, allowing your dog to be thrown forward at top speed.
Some dog car seat belts are attached to existing car seat belts and buckles, which can be risky for dogs who are prone to stepping on the seat belt release. In this instance, you should consider whether a latch bar attachment may be more suitable as it will not allow your dog to make this mistake. Know your dog’s habits and make a sensible choice based on these – not all dogs are the same.
The length of a dog car seat belt is also crucial in determining how restricted your dog is. Too restricted and your dog may experience extreme discomfort or unease. Meanwhile, not enough restriction and your dog may be at risk of injury as he can still be thrown around the moving vehicle. Many dog car seat belts are adjustable which will help you find the ideal length for your dog. Some restraints are not adjustable and come in several different sizes. In this case, you must ensure you measure and/or weigh your dog and order the correct size to prevent discomfort or injury.
You should also put some thought into the material that a car seat belt is made of. The material should have durability and strength – it may also need to be chew-proof if you can’t trust your dog not to gnaw through it. Seatbelts made of nylon webbing are often a popular choice because they have a high breaking strength and can withstand the force of sudden breaking or the impact of a car crash, but they are not chew-proof. Chew-proof seat belts are often made of flexible, coated steel.
Top 5 Best Dog Car Seat Belts
Check out the below best seatbelts for dogs! We have selected these products for their value, price, safety features, durability, and great reviews from customers around the world. Obviously, make sure it would suit your particular dog, especially if you own a very large dog breed.
1. EzyDog Universal Car Restraint
This bargain dog seat belt is made from traditional seatbelt webbing and reinforced computerized-precision stitching with an electroplated swivel-style snap hook for increased durability and strength. Small but incredibly strong, this award-winning restraint has a 2400lb breaking strength and can be slipped over the car’s original seat belts for fast, easy access to your dog. The seatbelt clips directly to your dog’s harness and is short enough to keep your dog from being too active whilst the vehicle is moving. EzyDog Universal Car Restraint comes in a single size, which is best suited to medium or large dogs.
It is a seatbelt only – a universal D-ring slip over your car’s existing seat belt, whilst the snap-hook clips to your dog’s harness. Therefore, you must ensure that your dog’s harness is as reliable and sturdy as the dog seat belt you are clipping it to. A poorly made harness clipped to an A-class dog seat belt will not guarantee safety or security for your dog. It is recommended that for best results, the EzyDog Universal Car Restraint be used with an EzyDog harness. The seatbelt should never be used if it’s damaged and should regularly be inspected for wear and tear.
As this seat belt uses a D-ring attachment to slip over your car’s existing seat belt, there is a risk of your dog getting free if he steps on the seat belt button. If you’ve known your dog to do this before, this may not be the restraint for him! It is also not chew-proof, so think carefully about whether your dog is likely to damage it and put you both at risk.
- Universal use
- Strong and durable
- Easy to attach
- Easy and convenient to store away in the car
- Cheap to buy
- Only comes in one size which means the level of restriction and protection from injury vary depending on the size of the dog.
- Not chew-proof
2. Kurgo Tru-Fit Crash-Tested Dog Harness with Seat Belt
As stated in the name, this harness-seat belt combo has been fully crash-tested to minimize the risk of injury to your dog. To ensure strength and reliability, this Kurgo product is modeled on harnesses used by human rock-climbers. Its padded chest panel boasts comfort as well as safety and its lightweight design makes it suitable for daily use.
This seat belt harness has a carabiner clip making it compatible with all vehicles universally. It also comes in sizes extra small (2-5kg), small (5-11kg), medium (11-23kg), large (23-36kg) and extra-large (36-50kg) to suit multiple dog breeds. It has adjustable shoulder, back, and tummy straps, making it easy to take on/off and creating the perfect fit. The straps ensure that in the event of a crash, the force will be distributed evenly across your dog’s body, reducing the risk of injury.
The harness is designed to be attached via carabiner directly to your existing seat belt. This is great for stability and security when on the move but may not be all that comfortable for dogs on long journeys as their movement will be heavily restricted. However, if you want to increase comfort levels for your dog, you can use the included 10-inch seat belt attachment – this is non-adjustable but can give your dog a bit more freedom to find a comfortable position.
- Reasonable price
- Robust and well made
- Comes in four different sizes
- Universal use
- Seat belt length cannot be adjusted
- May cause underarm rubbing
3. EzyDog CLICK Seat Belt
The EzyDog CLICK seat belt is an adjustable restraint with a buckle at one end and a heavy-duty snap-hook at the other. The belt has “Tri-Glide Adjustment” which means it can be altered (17.5in-26in) to fit dogs big and small, so it’s only sold in one size. It uses very similar webbing to that used on human car seat belts which means it is extremely strong and robust with a huge breaking strength.
The EzyDog CLICK seat belt is intended for use with harnesses only. It is also recommended for shorter journeys, with a full seatbelt harness recommended for the long haul. This seat belt is the perfect tool to stop your dog jumping on your lap whilst driving, yet it still allows your dog to sit, stand or lie down comfortably.
Even though this seat belt is extremely durable, it is not advisable for canines that have a strong chewing tendency as your dog may chew himself free. This seat belt prides itself on its strength and simplicity, but dogs with more complex behavioral needs may need something a bit more specialized. Like some other seat belts in this list, it is also not recommended for dogs who tend to step on the seat belt button, as they will free themselves – fun for the dog but not for you!
- Simple to use – very easy attachment
- Adjustable so it can be used for dogs of various sizes
- Strong and durable
- “Click” mechanism does not work in Volvo cars
- More expensive than other dog car seat belts on the market
- Some dog owners say they cannot get it short enough to keep their dog from leaping around
4. Mighty Paw Dog Safety Belt
The Mighty Paw Dog Safety Belt prides itself on dependability, durability, comfort, and convenience. This seat belt attaches straight to your car’s latch bar which is found in the crease of every vehicle’s backseat. The problem with many dog car seat belts on the market is that they can be accidentally released if your dog steps on the buckle button. This is potentially dangerous and will leave you constantly worrying about whether your dog has freed himself.
This safety belt can be used across all vehicle designs as latch bars are a legal requirement. A strong metal hook attaches to the latch bar whilst an aviation aluminum carabiner attaches to your dog’s harness. These carabiners are the same ones used by mountaineers who rely on the strength of their equipment to avoid death or serious injury. The Mighty Paw Dog Safety Belt has a breaking strength of 400kg and is made from high-quality nylon that is predicted to last for years. Its adjustability means it can be extended from 16 to 24 inches depending on what best suits your furry friend’s size and positioning.
Even better, with this seat belt safety doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Not only is this dog seat belt adjustable in length, it also has a neat tangle-free swivel mechanism, so your dog can move and turn around without becoming tangled. This dog seat belt is created by dog owners for dog owners who understand the struggle in bringing the most crucial elements of a safety restraint together. Mighty Paw is so confident in its ability that they provide a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t fall in love with your safety belt, then you will be provided with a full refund upon its return.
- Tangle-free swivel mechanism for comfort
- Adjustable so can be used across various dog breeds
- Universal use
- Extreme strength and durability
- 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee
- Not chew-proof
- Some customers report difficulty finding their latch bar and attaching the hook
5. Dog Car Seat Belt Restraint
The Dog Car Seat Belt Restraint is the perfect restraint for dogs who like to chew! The last thing you want is to be plagued with the nagging thought that your dog is gnawing himself free whilst you’re trying to drive. This is distracting and diverts your attention away from the road, not to mention the danger that could be caused if your dog does break free.
This restraint attaches to your vehicle’s latch bar via a robust locking link and is made of heavy-duty nylon-coated steel rope. A sturdy snap-hook attaches to your dog’s harness. The restraint comes in five sizes depending on the height of your dog; small (16 inches), medium (21 inches), large (26 inches), extra-large (31 inches) and extra, extra-large (36 inches). It cannot be adjusted, so it is recommended that dog owners accurately measure their dog’s height before purchasing. Nonetheless, this product does come with a manufacturer’s warranty known as the “The Boss Promise” which protects against defects for 5 years.
This seat belt is great for any dogs that have a track record of stepping on the seat belt button or chewing through usual nylon seat belt material. Securing a dog is not always as simple as you may think, but the right product can make it simple! This product is perfect for overcoming your dog’s bad seat belt habits.
- Accurate sizing
- Protects against chewing – providing safety, security, and peace of mind
- 5-year manufacturer warranty
- Universal attachment
- Prone to tangling
- Not always easy to locate latch bar to attach the restraint